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The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 60.59
Only 1 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by M and N Media Canada.
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Product Details

  • Actors: Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas, Judith Anderson
  • Directors: Lewis Milestone
  • Writers: John Patrick, Robert Riskin, Robert Rossen
  • Producers: Hal B. Wallis
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Paramount
  • Release Date: Oct. 25 2005
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,477 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Barbara Stanwyck mesmerizes as a woman with a past, bound by a crime to a husband she despises. Kirk Douglas quickens our collective pulses in his film debut as her disappointing, dipsomaniac spouse, while Van Heflin and Lizabeth Scott bring texture to supporting roles. Everything about this 1946 film noir is intriguing, from Lewis Milestone's direction to Edith Head's costumes to the edgy and troubled characters. It takes a long, hard look at guilt and the consequences of poorly planned actions. Well worth checking out, despite a wretched title. --Rochelle O'Gorman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Van Heflin is a gambler who returns to his hometown and gets tangled up with some childhood friends. He left town the night Martha killed her cold-hearted aunt, a murder that was successfully covered up. Now the grown-up Martha, played by Barbara Stanwyck, and especially her weak husband, played by Kirk Douglas, fear he might reveal what happened that night. Heflin gets involved with Lizabeth Scott, a convict, who fears his past relationship with Stanwyck will take Heflin from her. In this film noir, none of the characters is particularly likeable, each trying to protect themselves. There is some biting dialogue and effective use of music, although sometimes it becomes a little overpowering. Stanwyck is terrific as usual, really delivering in the latter scenes. Douglas is too strong of a presence to play the weak, manipulated husband, and would have been better off trading with Heflin. Scott has a strange screen presence, and although it fits the character somewhat, she never seems quite comfortable. But the characters are fascinating (typical for film noir) and the story is really interesting, despite the poor choice of a title. Since so much of this film centres on guilt and how difficult it can be to escape one's past, I think a better title for the film would have been The Guilt of Martha Ivers.
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Format: DVD
This review refers to the Alpha Video (Gotham) DVD.
Overall Quality of DVD: ***1/2 /**** Sound: *** /**** Plot: ***1/2 /**** Acting: ***1/2 /**** Cinematography: ***1/2 /**** Direction: ***1/2 /****
You will be surprised at the quality of this GOTHAM transfer. There are some frame skips but other than that this DVD is a steal-of-a-deal and an "A"-rated film-noir!
Kirk Douglas and Barbara Stanwyck are very intense in their roles but, in my opinion, Van Heflin and Lizabeth Scott steal the show. Lizabeth Scott plays the beaten-down, always-taken-advantage-of, world-weary, down-on-her-luck, cute, sexy girl that... well, you just want to take her in your arms and give her a hug, yet, you also know if you do, you will probably have to kiss her and then you'll probably fall in love with her (just as Van Heflin does). In my opinion, this is Lizabeth Scotts' best role that I've seen ("Dead Reckoning" she is also quite good in - "Too Late For Tears" she is not as strong). She seems to need a strong hand in direction and when she gets it she can give A-level performances.
Mickey Kuhn as the young Kirk Douglas, Darryl Hickman (Dwayne Hickman's "Dobie Gillis" younger brother) as the young Van Heflin and Janis Wilson as the young Martha Ivers give riveting performances and are so "in character" in looks and mannerisms with the adult actors it will amaze you!
Also, Judith Anderson (Mrs. Danvers (Danny) in "Rebecca") gives a wonderfully sinister performance.
This is an "A+" story, acted well, directed well, filmed well, great production design and a very smooth transfer.
This film is worthy of restoration but is worthy in its present incarnation as is.
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Format: Blu-ray
The story opens in 1928, as rebellious teen Martha Ivers is trying to run away from her mean and powerful aunt. Helping Martha is her pal from across the tracks, Sam. They never do escape that night, but something far more dramatic happens involving Martha, her aunt, and a kitten named Bundles.

I really enjoyed this movie, which is an unusual mix of film noir, melodrama, romance, and mystery. Barbara Stanwyck plays grown-up Martha and is perfectly cast as a tough-as-nails and utterly ruthless woman. Her husband is well-played by Kirk Douglas, in his film debut. He's very young but very confident and convincing as an alcoholic loser. The real star of the show is Van Heflin who plays grown-up Sam, a street-wise charmer who can handle himself in a fight. Heflin is handsome, charismatic, and very sympathetic and reminded me of a young William Holden. He is paired with sultry Lizabeth Scott, who was made for film noir tough gal parts.

The script is clever and fast-paced and I was on the edge of my seat right up to the very satisfying ending. If you like gritty, character-driven dramas with plenty of twists and turns, you'll like this movie.
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Format: VHS Tape
How else but the terrific Barbara Stanwyck could have performed this largely unsympathic role and still had us, the audience , rooting for her?
"Strange Love" is a great film which doesn't seem to be as well known as the great classic "Double Indemnity" but it deserves to be.
Barbara Stanwyck tends to be known for her tough lady characters but in reality alot of her best performances were in very sympathic and feminine roles like "Stella Dallas" and "My Reputation" She was a great actress who could easily play both comedy and drama. In this film she is a ruthless lady hiding a dark secret from her childhood involving murder and deception who believes that her evil past has come back to haunt her in the form of childhood cohort Van Heflin.
What develops in this story is a tense cat and mouse game with both parties waiting to see who will make the next move. Tense stuff indeed and the film is quite rivetting right up to the end.Judith Anderson has a brief but telling role in the first flash back section of the film and ends up a murder victim. She plays Barbara's aunt as a mean, vicious monster which I feel almost lends Barbaras later character a little sympathy. That is what is so unique about "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers" no character is really as they first seem , every character has other elements to their makeup not obvious at first. It really is intriguing. Lizabeth Scott also has an important role as the girl from the wrong sid eof the tracks just trying to go straight and make good. Hers is a great performance and her one scene with Stanwyck positively crackles.
The overraul look of the film is lavish with that certain noir quality. Barbara , although not acclaimed as a great beauty is here as always a very attractive woman even when playing a nasty character.
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